Falla: El sombrero de tres picos; El amor brujo; Interlude & Dance from La vida breve

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Falla
LABELS: Decca
WORKS: El sombrero de tres picos; El amor brujo; Interlude & Dance from La vida breve
PERFORMER: Teresa Berganza (soprano), Marina de Gabarain (mezzo-soprano); Suisse Romande Orchestra/Ernest Ansermet
CATALOGUE NO: 466 991-2 ADD Reissue (1955, 1961)
Ernest Ansermet had an intimate and long-standing connection with the music of Falla, going back to his direction of the premiere of The Three-Cornered Hat in 1919. His recordings are informed by meticulous knowledge of the intricacies of light and shade in Falla’s scores, and here sound as fresh as when recorded. Of the two large pieces on this disc, Love the Magician is the more intense and sustained, both as a work and performance. The mezzo Marina de Gabarain has a wonderfully throaty, inflamed growl that vividly brings to life the texts sung by a suffering, impassioned gypsy woman. For a more recent, equally brilliant alternative, I recommend one of the last recordings made by Eduardo Mata with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela: a fluid and sensual El amor brujo coupled with some unusual fillers, Homenajes and Luciano Berio’s orchestrations of the Seven Popular Spanish Songs. Christopher Wood

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